Our parenting tip this week is teaching children to navigate life and making the right choices. Last week we took a look at how to teach our kids to have a healthy attitude to money.
Set Up Goals
Every child is born with a destiny to fulfill and it is our great privilege as parents to encourage our children to navigate this by drawing up goals, visions, and mission for their future. Planning is key for anyone to achieve greatness. Some might take more travelled paths and become doctors, lawyers or artists while others are waiting to create something never thought of before.
Whatever the child wants to become in life, will to a large extent depend on what they naturally find interesting. We live in a technologically advanced age and children are exposed to all sorts through the media. Content without context is dangerous and misleading, take the time as a parent to sit with your child, and ask them what they want to become and why. You are in the best position to discuss the benefits and what it will take to achieve their dreams. Ask them questions such as:
- What are you interested in?
- How will your dream be achievable?
- What do you think are the positive and negative effects of your ambition? So they understand that everything is a choice.
Taking the time to discuss with them helps them to achieve their true dreams and understand that everything takes hardwork and planning.
Set a Clear Cut Plan
After taking out your time to discuss your child’s goals, mission, and vision for the future, the next step is to set a clear-cut plan on how the child will achieve his/ her dream. It is helpful to have a general guideline for when your child should have achieved different stages mapped out. Putting a time frame helps the child to stay focused, a child who plays guitar can play in concerts annually or go for professional examinations. Secondly, you will need to go over the presumed cost of pursuing and achieving the dream. Cost here, not only refers to money, but sacrifice in terms of time and effort that needs to be devoted to achieving the goal. Everyone in the family will need to be dedicated to make it a reality.
[Tweet “Achieving goals takes hardwork and sacrifice”]
Enforce Discipline and Hard Work
Some children may get lazy or grow weary in the pursuance of their life goals. It is our duty as parents to ensure that we instil a level of discipline and hard work what will help the child stay focused and diligent in the pursuance of their dreams. Refer to previous post on how to teach children to be hard working and how to teach your children discipline.
As parents we should take out time to frequently monitor the progress of our children in terms of their ambitions. We could monitor their academic performance, and also put in place structures which would help further assist them to achieve their goals such as extra lessons, educational materials, Youtube videos etc. Encouragement always keeps people on the right track and children thrive in an environment where they are told “Yes you can“!
Plan and Prepare for Unforeseen Circumstances
Dealing with and discussing real life situations is one way to prepare children to navigate the unforeseen and unplanned. As parents’ we should help prepare our children for unpleasant scenarios. Situations like a death of a parent, bankruptcy, or even sickness can cause a hiccup in plans. The resilience of the child will determine how any challenges are handled. Most times it depends on structures that have been put in place prior to the unforeseen circumstances that will determine if one bounces back or stays sidetracked.
Preparation like training your child to be financially independent (refer to our post on teach them to have a healthy attitude to money) is a great place to start.
Children should see themselves as unstoppable no matter the situation. If they feel equipped to navigate life they usually do. They should learn to see challenges that come their way as things to overcome towards greatness. Life can be uncertain but life is also a fun journey and it all depends on your attitude.
God must always be at the center so train your child in the way and when they grow, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6).